Like a promising matryoshka doll, Jeremy Denk's Tuesday night recital at the Kimmel Center kept revealing itself. The program's halves seemed split into the cerebral, Bach's Goldberg Variations, and the deeply personal, Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze. Each of these pieces released a series of smaller ones (18 movements in the Schumann, 32 in the Bach) from which sprang smaller and even more complex characterizations.
This was a makeup recital; the pianist's October appearance for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society was washed out by Sandy, its program of Brahms and Liszt now lost. But for a post-Sandy Hook audience, Bach's orderly universe and Schumann's private realm were solace, a discrete retreat. The score to the Schumann is annotated with an old saying: "In each and every age joy and sorrow are mingled: Remain pious in joy, and be ready for sorrow with courage."